Gunmen killed a police anti-terrorist officer guarding a witness in the centre of the Greek capital yesterday in a brazen escalation of domestic militant attacks prompted by massive riots in December.
The death of 41-year-old Nektarios Savvas, whose body was riddled with more than 18 bullets, is the first killing attributed to terrorism in Greece for several years. "There was no warning, no telephone calls," police spokesman Panagiotis Stathis said. "This was a cold-blooded murder."
The officer had been guarding the home of a key witness in the trial of the now defunct far-left Greek terrorist group Revolutionary Popular Struggle. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but police matched bullets from the scene to a gun used in previous attacks by Greece's newest terrorist group, Sect of Revolutionaries.
The group emerged in the aftermath of massive riots in December triggered by the fatal police shooting of a teenager. It pledged to avenge the boy's death, bursting on to the scene in February with a gun and grenade attack on an Athens police station that caused no injuries.
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